At last, the prayers were answered before the close of the transfer window this summer, as Spurs finally bought in a striker of exceptional quality. Emmanuel Adebayor arrived on a season long-loan towards the end of August and the acquisition of the Togolese forward couldn’t have come soon enough.
Heavy back-to-back defeats against both Manchester sides in the opening two Premier League fixtures bought to surface the need for a new man to lead the front-line. Jermain Defoe, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Peter Crouch just weren’t cutting it in front of goal and it’s no surprise that Crouch was sold to make room for Adebayor.
The Togolese has breathed fresh life into Defoe, who looks far more comfortable and confident with a big man to parter him up top. The goals prove that the England striker may be getting back to his previous best. Meanwhile, Adebayor has started his Spurs career with a bang, netting three times in his first three games.
However, Pavlyuchenko hasn’t been able to take full advantage of every chance that has been presented to him. Although he has only started in the cup games this far, against the likes of Heart and PAOK, the Russian hasn’t looked at all happy during his time in the starting XI.
Harry Redknapp has warned the 29-year-old to up his game when he is given a chance but he looks un-interested at every opportunity, his penalty against Stoke City basically summing up his season so far, and a January exit seems the most likely scenario.
With that in mind, Spurs will desperately need another striker to replace the outgoing trio of Crouch, potentially Pavlyuchenko and Robbie Keane. Over the summer, the club were heavily linked with a move for Brazilian starlet Leandro Damiao yet, despite three bids for the 22-year-old, no move ever materialised.
Leandro subsequently signed a new five-year with Internacional despite the coach admitting his exit was inevitable. Many believe the new deal was to drive his price up when the transfer window re-opens and since the summer ended, the players valuation has sky-rocketed.
Prior to injury, the 22-year-old was banging the goals in for fun and despite only scoring one goal in four international appearances, the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan have all been linked with a move for the talented forward.
It is key to remember that Spurs, to an extent, hold the upper hand, no matter the stature of the club that is rumoured to be readying a move for the player, the two clubs currently hold an important commercial relationship, the same relationship that enabled Spurs to sign current fan favourite Sandro without any real competition.
The same player is also attempting to bring his former team-mate to White Hart Lane and over the summer even told the media that Leandro should join him at Spurs. Such a major pulling power, both from the club and the players’ perspective, leaves the North London side with an excellent chance of convincing the youngster his future lies in England.
Furthermore, Levy, Redknapp and co. aren’t foolish enough to let a player of his ability slip through their fingers without so much of a whimper. It is rather coincidental that he signed a new contract with Internacional when the rumours of Spurs’ interest cooled. Many are speculating that the deal has already been formalised and nothing will be announced until after the Brazilian season has ended, which just happens to be in January.
Many are hoping this is the case, as the player has a big, big future ahead of him. Barcelona and AC Milan are fully aware of his abilities after his goals against the European giants during the pre-season Audi Cup and both are said to be showing a huge interest in the player.
Despite being just 22-years of age, fans of the Brasiliero are hugely confident that Leandro can be a huge success on the European stage. His physical attributes make him ideal for the Premiership while his keen eye for goal is reminiscent of the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy and Pippo Inzaghi.
With Adebayor only on loan at the club and a January exit looking more and more likely for Pavlyuchenko, not signing Leandro would be one of the biggest mistakes Spurs could make in recent history. The Brazilian is exactly what the club needs and he could well be the player to fire Spurs to the next level and beyond, should he turn out in the Lilywhites shirt from January and onwards.